Rain's Practice Log

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Josef Kyle Chan, modified 1 Year ago.

Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello everyone I am Rain , 23 years old and am a  medical student. I have been trying to start a meditation for the past few years but nothing seems to stick .I have tried the TMI practice and TM but it didnt bear any fruit. 

This is my first log here since now I want to monitor my meditation progress.My goal for now is to stabilize my meditation practice and be consistent about it .I feel like my approach has been too scattershot vascilitating from vajrayana to theravada  to vajrayana etc.I have read too much an I would like to set down roots and practice deeply with mindfulness.I would try and practice the approach of Bhante Gunarantana as written in Mindfulness in Plain English. I will be starting small for now with 10 mins twice a day. 

Sep 15, 2020 1:00 PM 
So for my first meditation of the day   it had been pleasant. I was able to collect my thoughts and stay with my breath most of the time. Although I would need to better my posture and be stiller.  

I would also do some lifestyle adjustments like lessening my screen time since I realized that too much of it leaves my thoughts scattered. I would also incorporate physical exercises and healthy diets since it makes me feel better overall which in turn helps my practice. 

I am interested in stream entry but for now will focus on the foundations and not rush it. 
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Josef Kyle Chan, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Sep 15, 2020 1:00 PM 
For my second meditation of the day  it is better compared to my previous practice. I have tried to apply Bhante's advice in regards to being patient and attitude change and it helped. Although I still need to improve on it. There are times where I get lost on my thoughts but I was able to return to my breath. What I would be focusing on is my concentration and applying mindfulness throughout my daily life. I get mindless  too much throughout the day and will look forward to remedying this. 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Welcome to DhO! I know you're working with Mindfulness in Plain English but have you ever read Daniel Ingram's Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha MCTB? Have you ever considered Vipassana with Noting?
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Josef Kyle Chan, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello Sam ! Yes, I am now currently reading  MTCB and  practical insight meditation by Mahasi Sayadaw in conjunction.  I am also reading a compilation of Shargrol's post and am thinking of applying his structured noting  in the future once my meditation practice has stabilized and established emoticon .
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Josef Kyle Chan, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
September 20 , 2020 9 mins
I unfortunately fell of the wagon too soon. After meditating successfully that day , I felt resistance for quite some time in regards to starting my meditation.What I did  meanwhile is read Mindfulness and Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw with an excellent introduction by Steve Armstrong. Steve Armstrong's introduction cleared up some of my misconceptions in regards to the practice. Will reread it again. 

Practice:
What I did is used the letting go method to face my resistance which helped me jumpstart my meditation. I was able to concentrate on some periods on my nose and did some noting successfully. Unfortunately I felt too fidgety and moved around a lot also due to my posture. Will try to find a remedy for that. By the 9th minute mark I looked at my timer and decided to end the meditation since I felt like I have lost focus. I will also try to remedy the habit of looking at my digital timer from time to time because it causes me to lose focus. 

I am thinking of lowering the time or keeping it the same  because I dont want to overshoot myself .
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Josef Kyle Chan, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
September 21 , 2020 10 mins
I wasa able to meditate completely for 10 mins without feeling strong resistance.  I have decided to start with a structured noting but is still trying to master or atleast have access concentration throughout the meditation.  For the  meditation I was able to note sensations and urgers but got lost but was able to notice distractions..Will update this log every 2  meditation so as  to not bombard this thread. 





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Josef C, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Time has flown so fast since my last log here and I think that it is time to update mine. I have seen Noah's Monthly Practice log and I was inspired to do the same where I will post monthly since my practice is still growing and so far there is nothing yet exciting  or interesting about it. One insight that I have learned by reading through DhO is that I lack basic sanity as Shargrol may say . I lack the basic training in morality in a sense that I think my life has been unbalanced. I  have been spending  too much time on my phone , I am overeating and other bad habits that I believe hinders my practice. As Mahasi says in Practical Insight Meditation wherein the meditator should " purify their moral conduct" and other advices about living which I have laid aside and I realized that I have been too focused on the Wisdom path.  I have also realized that I am Spiritual Bypassing expecting from myself to never feel such negative emotions such as anger because I have been meditating and whatnot. I realized that that is too much to expect from a beginner and of a person whose life is unbalanced therefore I am now trying to improve it slowly but surely.


I have forced myself to do noting practice thinking that it would be the only path and the "faster" path .  I have wanted to achieve stream entry so fast but has not faced the fact that I cannot even access access concentration  properly XD.   As Daniel said it can be destabilizing which is true so I have decided to practice concentration practices ala anapanasati sutta. So far so good. It seems to be a better fit for me right now . I do hope to transition to noting practice once I am able to better concentrate and have better daily sanity .

My practice is of small amounts for now which I hope to enlarge once I am more settled and more acquainted with my practice.  So for now my "goals" are  : To be acquainted properly with my body and practice through concentration practices. Develop a good routine and life outside the cushion to support my practice. Be kinder to myself as needed. Do not rush myself and strive for something without doing foundational basic sanity practices. Balance my life. 

As Shargrol says: Daily non heroic practice . Which has now become my mantra of some sort. 

Kudos to all and may we all achieve peace. 

Postscript : Reading this I have realized that I use the word I a lot . Well I am not a stream enterer so I still have this solid sense of self ! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ XD Also I realized that this practice log is almost purely content but I hope to transition to mainly  concentration/ insight practice in the future logs.  This log is more of a reflection . 
George S, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

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Hi Josef!

Good to see you recommitting to practice with more balanced expectations. Aiming for basic sanity and being kind to yourself will get you a lot further than you think. And consistent daily practice of course!

All the best,
George
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hey Rain

Long time no see! Good to see you back. I'm glad to see you recomit to your practice. It's OK to go seek more concentration before you come back to Noting but noting will give you the big gains for getting stuff to happen. Two resources on Concentration are Right Concentration By Leigh Brasington and The Mind Illuminated.
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Josef C, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Sam and George for your comments emoticon
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Josef C, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Impromptu Log :

Since reading up on MTCB ,other texts  and reflecting the comments about how concentration practices mainly  stop the hindrances while in the cushion while it still remains off the cushion and that Vipassana is the solution to that ( Augean stables in MTCB ) . I have decided to give Noting practice one last try before I fully dive into the concentration practice. Before I sat down I brushed up on Practical Insight Meditation about the proper way of noting and that I realized that I have been so deep into my contents that I have failed to note the  six sense doors properly.  I have been kind of half assing it to be honest based on this realization. 

So what I did is that  for that sitting I have decided to note as much as I can .  I have managed to note the mind states and the reocurring thoughts that came along. Whenever I want to look at the clock , I would note it . Whenever I think that  my noting is wrong , I note it. Whenever I  imagine a future achievement ,  I note it. Somehow as said that all  , good or bad can be a fuel to a noting practice !  It made a difference , I somehow got into the groove of noting and that I somehow more centered in my practice. Although my eyes gets kinda blurry or something from time to time and maybe that is just part of my practice and that I need to relax my eyes more.  So far so good and I will be patiently waiting to where this is going. 
George S, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 2057 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Good stuff - noting like that will take you a long way ... if you stick at it :-)
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Josef C, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Thank You George . Hopefully it sticks  emoticon 
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 342 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Good to see you re-committing to practice! A few comments came to my mind:

The three trainings (sila, samadhi, pana) are deeply connected and reinforce one-another. You could says that sila, moral conduct, is necessary to gain some samadhi, concentration, which again is what you need to develop pana, wisdom, but it is not a simple three layered pyramid, and it is, imho, best to work on all of them at the same time.

So with regard to your considerations on concentration versus insight, it is not either-or, it is both-and – in each sitting you do. I don't think you can do a concentration practice (e.g. focusing narrowly on the breath at the nose) without developing some insight, and I don't think you can do an insight practice (e.g. some form of noting) without developing some concentration. So the trick is to learn to feel the feedback of experience, and then, based on that, learn to turn the knobs of concentration and insight up and down accordingly. As just one example: If you sit down and feel overwhelmed by chaotic thoughts and/or unpleasant emotions combined with drowsiness, it can be difficult to do insight, so you stay with the breath until things stabilize and then switch to some gentle form of noting (one note per outbreath, for instance). Then energy maybe goes up a little and you can speed up the noting. Or if things become less chaotic, more clear, you can drop the notes entirely and just notice. Etc. Improvising, dancing with experience, rather than rigidly doing either insight or concentration, because you have decided on that beforehand.

As to moral conduct and bad habits, addictions etc., I have had some experience with that. It takes time to change, so patience is important. One little technique I used myself, was trying to be mindful while and just before I was doing the behaviour I wanted to change. I spent much too much time on Facebook, so every time I felt like going on Facebook, I made it a rule to do three mindful breaths before clicking on the tempting icon. And so I breathed three times. And clicked on the icon. But eventually, sometimes I changed my mind during the three breaths and didn't click. And now it is much more under control. I did the same thing with weed, which I used to smoke too much and now hardly ever touch any more.

So: patience and gentle mindfulness off-cushion combined with a more flexible and, yes, "consistent and non-heroic daily practice" (shargrol) is what I would recommend.

Best wishes!
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Josef C, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello Niels  emoticon What you said makes sense and I will be trying to recalibrate my  three trainings and how I see the concentration vs insight practice . I also am trying to change my habits since some of them really hinder my practice so thank you for the advice  . May I cultivate patience and gentleness emoticon 
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Josef C, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
 Practice/reflection log

Since my last post here , nothing much exciting has changed. During the first few days of my noting practice I became somewhat frustrated since it seemed that I was slowing down in regards to my noting and wanting it to be faster . Then I came across Shargrol's compilation about beginner's luck and it felt real about getting a sneak preview and working hard to work back to the cutting edge. I also realized that yeah , non self it is when I want something to happen which I have no control over. Impermanence in the sense that I want myself to note faster and for me to get into a flow state , states come and go. Also dukkha which when wanting to always have a good practice and it doesnt come . I also realized that I have a very strong sense of aversion. 

That resulted in me going back to the teachings of Tara Brach who I have found to be unassuming but great. I have been flipping through her book Radical Compassion and Radical Acceptance and looking forward to applying it to every practice that I do. Surprisingly in DBT  radical acceptance is also practiced so its a nice synchronicity  where through acceptance allows change to happen. I think I need that  right now.

Funnily enough I have been reading also   Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and reflecting on some of its connections with Buddhism. You can find a lot.Also it has been great that someone was shitposting here in DhO since I have been able to reflect on vedanas and my reaction to it. Since if a person who based on their opinion has been through  ego death but still be  a dick online ,  will make you think where did it go wrong? Of course I am not expecting moral perfection nor sunshines but it makes you reflect on the training on morality and how sometimes it is as people say the first and last training. Thank you  for shitposting emoticon

Lightly held goal : Balance concentration and insight. Focus and reflect on the teachings on morality . Take in everything. 
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Log

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Josef C
 Practice/reflection log

Since my last post here , nothing much exciting has changed. During the first few days of my noting practice I became somewhat frustrated since it seemed that I was slowing down in regards to my noting and wanting it to be faster . Then I came across Shargrol's compilation about beginner's luck and it felt real about getting a sneak preview and working hard to work back to the cutting edge. I also realized that yeah , non self it is when I want something to happen which I have no control over. Impermanence in the sense that I want myself to note faster and for me to get into a flow state , states come and go. Also dukkha which when wanting to always have a good practice and it doesnt come . I also realized that I have a very strong sense of aversion. 

Hi, so it seems like you havve left Mshasi Fast Noting. I think you are noticing the wanting, the wanting to be faster. I used to really fast as to lose the experience. I slowed down kust a bit so that the noting was consistent and clear. Yes, and impermanance too. I would say stay with the noting as it was the one practice that finally got me forward. I have some good resources on it, shargrol in his compilation, and papa Che has lot of stuff about noting.  You may also want to up your concentration. HTH
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Kaloyan Stefanov, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 66 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Hi Josef, I hope you don't mind me coming into your practice log and sharing some thoughts and questions - I hope these are helpful for you.<br /><br />Take in everything is a great way to approach it. If you are feeling frustrated by slowing down, take in these sensations of frustration, take in these sensations of "slowing down" and note them. No need to resist, insight can be revealed through every sensation. Moreso, one of the things/insights about dukha is that our meta-resistance to unpleasant sensations is a huge part of said upleasantness of said sensations, i.e. there is no objective unpleasantness about sensations as that is also a construct (like everything else).<br /><br />Balancing concentration and insight is also a great way to approach it. What are you doing to keep concenration (a bit) higher?<br /><br />I have personaly found mindfulness in daily life to be a huge boon to my practice in terms of insights/concentration balance and not only. Are you focusing on mindfulness in daily life, beyond your sitting practice? If yes, how do you approach it?
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Josef C, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Rain's Practice Log

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello Sam and Kaloyan ! Thanks for your reply emoticon 

SAM:
Hi ! In regards to my noting practice , I am trying to experiment and check doing 2 different meditations per day . Noting in the morning and more of shamatha during the night. Thanks for pointing out Papa Che maybe I can look into his posts more emoticon Thanks for the insights emoticon 

KALOYAN :
Hello ! Thanks for coming into my log , I appreciate any comments. I  have been trying to maintain mindfulness throughout the day and practicing shamatha too  .Although I admit that I think I am kind of  being a dilettante in regards to off the cushion mindfulness , I think I need to take it more seriously . I am also thinking of upping my time doing the noting practice  to see whether I could get more into  the flow of noting more. Aversion is my strongest resistance right now.  Crossed fingers , in regards to facing it  with patienceemoticon 

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